May 21, 2011 | Posted by Ingrid Schaefer Sprague
The 2011 Kick-It fundraiser is well underway at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School.
Organized by middle school physical education teacher Maria Ganim Schneider, the kickoff for Kick-It recently welcomed local Kick-It kids, Jesse Reed, 5, of Brecksville, a student at Stepping Stones Preschool, Joe Keserich, 7, a first-grader at Chippewa Elementary School, and middle school student Lana Shoukair, 14, both of Broadview Heights.
Lauren Ramer, a third-grader at Highland Drive Elementary, and Lauren Berish, 12, of Brecksville, a sixth-grader at BBHMS, also are Kick-It Kids.
Pediatric cancer patient Quinn Clarke, 11, of Chagrin Falls, founded Kick- It with his mother Allison Glovna Clarke. Clarke is a 1988 graduate of Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Quinn came to support the event with Kick-It Director Cathy Welcsh.
Before the assembly, Schneider showed the students an in-class video to introduce Kick-It, an organization that raises funds for juvenile cancer patients by holding kickball games. The middle school games are set for June 9, the last day of school.
The support of the students reached a resounding pitch when Schneider surprised them with an appearance by the Cleveland Cavaliers Scream Team dancers.
Eighth grade teacher Beth DeGirolamo and seventh grade counselor John Nauer were invited onto the floor to show their hip-hop skills to the crowd.
Schneider said last year’s total of $23,500 surpassed the original goal of $20,000. At the end of the 2010 fundraiser, middle school teacher Kate Vaughan kept her promise of shaving her head in honor of the students’ financial accomplishment. She is still sporting the pixie hairdo.
This year, middle school teacher Sue Brown offered to shave her head, as Schneider announced at the assembly. “I lost my mom to cancer one and a half years ago,” Brown said. “This is my Mother’s Day gift to her.”
The Kick-It Committee offered new ideas to raise funds this year. Middle school students Rachel Lurz, of Brecksville, Alexis Mack, of Brecksville, and Julia McPherson, of North Royalton, won the honor of designing the t-shirt for the Kick-It-Campaign.
Schneider said more than $3,000 has already been raised by the school via the sale of “I’m-A-Bee” bracelets, t-shirts and Mother’s Day cards.
The Kick-It campaign has been gaining more exposure this past year, according to Welcsh.
“Over Memorial Day weekend, Padua High School in Parma plans to break a Guinness Book of World Records by playing kickball for 50 hours for Kick-It,” she said.
Following last year’s success, Schneider is sure the students can reach or surpass the goal of $25,000 this year.
“I have every bit of confidence in our students and staff to raise this amount, if not more,” she assured. “Our students are amazing characters of pride and take responsibility to prove that. I am so grateful to work with such an incredible group of kids and staff. Everyone works together to reach our ultimate goal . . . to help ‘kick’ pediatric cancer out of here.”
Donate now and brighten the lives of children with cancer.
Send a personal appeal to your friends and family.